Explaining to A Dog

by Ed Higgins

My wife tells me

your dog has vomited

on the carpet AGAIN!


And I am going to

rub your nose in it

if you don’t explain


to him this is so fucking rude!

And so I tell the dog

vomiting on the carpet


is totally unacceptable.

If this happens again

both the carpet and I


are going to vomit on him.

My black lab tilts his head

looking puzzled as I explain this.


The carpet is wondering

why the idiot dog is wagging

its tail and smiling warmly.


The carpet is disgusted

and throws the dog a

shit-for-brains look. A small spider


scuttles across a corner

of the carpet, disappearing

behind the TV cabinet—


worrying what will come

next, fearing the rolled

up newspaper he sees


in my wife’s hand as she

enters the living room

bent on further correction.


My poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online journals including: Monkeybicycle, Pen Pusher, CrossConnect, Word Riot, Foliate Oak, Dark Sky Magazine, Mannequin Envy, and qarrtsiluni, among others. My wife and I live on a small farm in Yamhill, OR, and I teach writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR.


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